Two students of the School traveled to France thanks to ARFITEC scholarships

They will study a semester of the Chemical Engineering progrom in institutions of that country.

Publicada el 28 de septiembre de 2018

UTNBA students German Pinzón and Mauro Abulafia traveled to France as part of the exchange proposed by the ARFITEC scholarship, to study in different educational institutions in France.

Pinzón was assigned to the Graduate Engineering School SIGMA Clermont, located in the city of Clermont, while Mauro Abulafia, joined the University of Lille, in northern France.

The ARFITEC Scholarship consists of an exchange, between Argentina and France, of students who are studying the final years of engineering programs. The program is co-run by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation of Argentina, and the French Ministries of Higher Education and Research and Foreign Affairs.

Although UTNBA had been participating in the ARFITEC scholarships, two years ago the Department of Chemical Engineering won for the first time a project of these characteristics, after an open call from the University Policies Office (in Spanish, SPU): “Universidad General Sarmiento, through the National Council of Chemical Engineering Directors, offered to partner with us to apply for the ARFITEC scholarship. We were able to obtain it and to send two students of each institution to France in the second year of the project,” described Eng. Susana Santana, Director of the Chemical Engineering undergraduate program, during an interview on the School’s radio program.

Of the 32 winning projects, 16 were repetitions. Among the new proposals was that of the Department of Chemical Engineering of UTNBA. The scholarship began in 2017, so student trips were arranged by 2018.

In April, the SPU convened a meeting in Bahía Blanca between the academic units of Argentina and the French partner universities.

Before starting, only the Argentine entities met. During that meeting, “a director of the Office told us that the first 16, the renewed ones, would have scholarships but limiting the number of students, while the second group of students would not be granted scholarships,” Santana explained.

The Universities had the power to send students in the scope of ARFITEC since the project was valid, but the SPU did not commit to providing the required funds.

“It’s been 6 months since the scholarship holders began studying French. They translated papers with their own money and did not enroll in the annual courses because they planned to travel for 6 months,” continued the Director of the School’s Chemical Engineering program.

Faced with this situation, the Chemical Engineering Department sought support from private companies through UTNBA graduates, the School’s Student Center, and Chemical Engineering Professional Council. In parallel, UTNBA collaborated by buying the tickets in advance.

“With everybody’s contribution, plus a money collaboration from teachers, we were able to collect the money to buy the tickets and the money they needed for their stay. Today they are both in France,” concluded Santana.